tv Book Discussion on The Black Revolution on Campus CSPAN August 9, 2015 1:00pm-1:24pm EDT
african-american studies. question mark? >> the field of african-american studies lois bought for by black students in the name of some black scholars and it was a quest to redefine and reshape the teaching of american history and to gain control over the subject of black history with self-determination was the watchword of the struggle and it is the field largely written by and taught by african americans dollars. but there has always been a tradition of openness in the field and the goal has been to narrates the united states and world history from the perspective of black people and black
subjects. so the vast majority of the writing and teaching has spent black people but there is a minority of scholars in the field. >> host: be invited you to talk about your book "the black revolution on campus" the of one of the things you write about is the creation of ethnic studies. >> guest: yes. ethnic studies was born out of the black liberation movement of the late '60s and early '70s and i was drawn to write about it because i thought this period of the black freedom struggle was greatly misunderstood it is known as the black power movement. many americans associate that with violence and destruction and the disarray and in fact, one of the core goals and aspirations of of the black power movement was access to higher education. bequest to education was at the center of the black power movement said on think many have appreciated or understood that.
so immigrants have valued education with their aged or jewish americans as a struggling minority group that has prized access to higher education but they are rarely portrayed this way it is portrayed as the anti-intellectual culture and i felt those were distortions in one of was extraordinary to me is the period that young black people risk their lives to go to college. it is and what is often talked but they went on strike they have thus it didn't and protests and demonstrations and even risked their lives to open the door to higher education
much more broadly to black people and people of color. >>. >> host: while the white student movement of the '60s has garnered much more attention, a black student protest produced greater campus change. >> guest: yes. when you think of student activism they think of the right to left. they think of the fight to end the war is an vietnam or other issues like that. and to take place at colleges large and small public and private, private, 1968, '69, '70, pro duced more wide-ranging comprehensive campus reform them there rights and the left. so it is the untold story.
>> are they told today? >> guest: many are but many have been under attack with affirmative action with college admissions whether through the ballot initiative in california or several court decisions, there have been many conservative groups or white americans who have seen affirmative-action admissions as a threat as those studies have revealed it is though waited to the of white's mother because of wealth or legacy admissions. affirmative action in many ways was meant to be a minor corrective to use the structure that favors people of color. open admissions was another extraordinary achievement of public universities and higher education so why not
let kids to go to college go to college. said that should be open to all qualified africans. in chicago and new york and most famously was controversial. it was seen as watering down and it was finally repealed after undergoing controversy for many years. it was critical to the expansion of the black middle class. cliff did help to change that opportunity structure
from the people in the region. and those of are the most well known and most loved - - longest lasting achievement for student activism that when students fought for change it was very controversial. many have forgotten the house centric the curriculum was but in all of the major public universities large share of small that if you approach the typical american literature ritter is richard wright or james baldwin? he would be told they're not worthy of inclusion on a college curriculum so they had to fight for their own
education and so with the transformation of knowledge reduction and teaching the influence back -- black studies and latino studies but all disciplines in the liberal arts were impacted for the better. >> host: you address the critiques of african-american studies so when day one those demands when they first are / negotiations and meetings and trying to do research to demonstrate it is the appropriate area of inquiry but in light of foot dragging and a lack of change students finally decided it is time to
escalate their tactics of a day engaged in direct action in protest. to occupy buildings and organized demonstrations and there is the time where we have summer after summer of urban unrest many college administrators were nervous coming into campus and escalating protests and ultimately they granted student demands. most notably the studies of ethnic studies but even though they granted this concession we will give you a black studies program, that did not mean day for other tried to placate students may be this
would dissipate or they would move finding it is not a serious academic endeavor. but what they did was create the infrastructure for a whole new field for intellectual of growth such as the african american and stays is thriving but that has remained under attack for the 40 or 50 years there are still many conservative legislatures to with like to cut these programs and i am sure many faculty members who remain to this day skeptical about the legitimacy of these deals but i think scholars have produced award winning scholarship and have gained
a firm place in american higher education is so in that sense a story of incredible resilience and his success despite intense opposition. >> host: the picture on the front of your book? >> guest: that is stoically carmichael who was one of the figures of the late '60s that really inspired the phase of the black freedom struggle. black college students greatly am -- admires him who himself was a student at howard university to join the civil rights movement with the leaders of sncc to topple apartheid in the south after the achievement of the voting rights act that teethirty leaders set
their sights on taking the college movement nationwide to the colleges to shift away to the north and west to crisscross the country with mesmerizing speeches that inspired students to take action to improve their own minds. >> host: and what about the black student movement? >> that was the great question that is counterintuitive as students tried to widen opportunity at a predominantly white institutions integration as it played out in american schooling was not a two-way
street it was coming at the expense of a black institution while desegregation and equal rights certainly remained then main called by a leaders nor black civil rights leaders so the way it was implemented to that extent meant the loss of black institutions for principals and teachers and schools that were shut down in the aftermath of that implementation of brown vs. board of education and what this generation of college understand -- students understand is historically black colleges and universities although they are funded by a white planter best were black
institutions and had a much better rate of producing black graduates and white universities in the area of law, medicine and other professional field so they want to preserve and defend and upgrade and modernize to get more black control over the funding of historically black colleges. she thought to defend these schools to improve the curriculum to make them serve the needs of a new generation of black students >> host: professor, where is jackson state college and what happened there
may 15, 1970? >> it is in jackson in mississippi and that is one case of a season of violence inflicted on black students by law enforcement state and local and national law enforcement that was called in to quell the student protests that the leading to serious loss of life that most don't know about. most of those known that were killed at testator jackson state but there were at least eight killed and many more wounded and injured on various campuses during these years but at jackson state police opened fire into the windows of a women's dormitory. can you imagine opened fire into the windows of of a women's dormitory they did that at jackson state killing two young black man as southern university in
bad ruche '90s 72 just firing into a crowd killing two students in the back that were running. in south carolina in 1968 law enforcement killed those never in the back is they're running away. this is an example of the heavy handed opposition that literally trying to improve colleges to gain access to the middle class students are trying to realize that for themselves and they face mass arrest and violence on many campuses. >> host: who was "the black revolution on campus" written for? is it accessible to the general public gore is a
scholarly? >> guest: i hope to reach multiple audiences i hope to reach students and colleagues and other historians but i wanted a ride -- a wider public to reach it i think many people can relate to this story that the '60s are a critical time in american history many changes affirmative action and, of black studies they all come out of this period it and what is at the heart is human trauma said there are people stories and lives at the center of the book. so not to make a scholar the intervention but it is the human story and the incredible struggle and aspiration and contributions >> host: we are here at birth western university.
was that a hot spot for the black movement? >> guest: surprisingly it was you would not think that we would see illinois a or lake michigan to be a hotbed but in its own way it was. with the local civil rights struggle as important organizations and leadership to impact the students many who came from chicago there was a small group of black students who were here in '65, '66, '67 to have a goal to widen opportunities to a much larger group to transform the of curriculum from the overwhelmingly white university into able
ted ratio learning environment with opportunities for african-american students and professors and administrators sunday launched a struggle is a 1968 day plant a sit-in which is its own building so they engineered-- successful protest, they had a great media strategy and then they were able to win the demand within increase of black student enrollment with the creation of a black studies department which is thriving today. that has us a ph.d. program of 10 or 11 in the country.
>> host: what is your background? >> tbs civil-rights lawyer to my eyes grew up didn't connect it coming into consciousness does a young person that i was very taken with the black liberation movement just the words like equality and freedom it as an avid reader with high school and college to take with the social movements and the issues they were raising and wanted to go to law school to fight for justice and i had the opportunity to take many history class's and i saw in
the study of american history and black political thought that many of those that are in the contemporary period with the deepest oracle routes played out in african-american history and it is of vital area of inquiry so i decided to go to graduate school as a result to change my career plan and i focused on research and scholarship with black radicalism that what i wanted to bring out is that extraordinary impact of the black liberation struggle to democratize society more broadly. >> host: martha biondi